JavaScript is disabled in your web browser or browser is too old to support JavaScript. Today almost all web pages contain JavaScript, a scripting programming language that runs on visitor's web browser. It makes web pages functional for specific purposes and if disabled for some reason, the content or the functionality of the web page can be limited or unavailable.
Vieraskieliset / In-english

Prop­het Isai­ah saw he­a­ven’s fe­ast

Vieraskieliset / In-english
17.12.2014 17.57

The word of the gos­pel tel­ls of the sac­ri­fi­ce and the work of ato­ne­ment that are ac­cep­tab­le to God. Prop­het Isai­ah fo­re­told of that per­fect ato­ne­ment sac­ri­fi­ce, Je­sus Christ. Isai­ah was al­so al­lo­wed to see a fe­ast pre­pa­red on Mount Zion and the mar­ri­a­ge fe­ast of the Lamb. This vi­si­on of hope is still of­fe­red to be­lie­vers in the word of God. We can al­so get a fo­re­tas­te of he­a­ven’s fe­ast in the Lord’s Holy Sup­per.

Isai­ah was cal­led to be a prop­het when King Uz­zi­ah died, about 740 ye­ars be­fo­re the birth of our Re­dee­mer. Du­ring Isai­ah’s time the pe­op­le did not want to be obe­dient to the will of God. “They have for­sa­ken the Lord, they have pro­vo­ked the Holy One of Is­ra­el un­to an­ger, they are gone away back­ward.” (Isai­ah 1:2–4).

To obey is bet­ter than sac­ri­fi­ce

Alt­hough the pe­op­le were di­so­be­dient, they per­for­med the re­qui­red sac­ri­fi­ci­al ri­tes. Their he­arts were not in the sac­ri­fi­ci­al ri­tes, and the­re­fo­re God re­bu­ked the pe­op­le through Isai­ah: “To what pur­po­se is the mul­ti­tu­de of yo­ur sac­ri­fi­ces un­to me? saith the Lord. I am full of the burnt of­fe­rings of rams, and the fat of fed be­asts, and I de­light not in the blood of bul­locks, or of lambs, or of he go­ats.” (Isai­ah 1: 11). God had al­re­a­dy re­min­ded King Saul of this du­ring the time of Prop­het Sa­mu­el: “Hath the Lord as great de­light in burnt of­fe­rings and sac­ri­fi­ces, as in obey­ing the voi­ce of the Lord? Be­hold, to obey is bet­ter than sac­ri­fi­ce, and to he­ar­ken than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15: 22).

Isai­ah’s ser­mon of re­pen­tan­ce

Prop­het Isai­ah loo­ked at life in his time. He saw how pe­op­le were for­sa­king the word of God. He un­ders­tood that this would have con­se­qu­en­ces: for­sa­king of the word of God was vi­sib­le as so­cie­tal and na­ti­o­nal prob­lems. The count­ry was fil­led with re­bel­li­on among the prin­ces and the pe­op­le. The poor were op­p­res­sed. The go­ver­nors ac­ted cont­ra­ry to the law which God had gi­ven to Mo­ses. The na­ti­on be­ca­me we­a­ker while the sur­roun­ding po­wers grew stron­ger.

Even in that time, the ser­mon of God’s word was a ser­mon of the law and the gos­pel. Isai­ah be­seec­hed those who had fal­len in­to sin to turn: “Wash you, make you clean; ce­a­se to do evil.” Even then, pe­ni­tent ones were pro­mi­sed: “Though yo­ur sins be as scar­let, they shall be as white as snow. – – If ye be wil­ling and obe­dient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye re­fu­se and re­bel, ye shall be de­vou­red with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spo­ken it.” (Isai­ah 1:16–20).

God told Isai­ah al­re­a­dy be­fo­re­hand that the pe­op­le ne­vert­he­less would not lis­ten to his ser­mon of re­pen­tan­ce. They did not lis­ten to Isai­ah even though he spoke of cap­ti­vi­ty that would con­cern the en­ti­re na­ti­on and of dest­ruc­ti­on of the temp­le. He proc­lai­med that the si­tu­a­ti­on would con­ti­nue that way un­til the pe­op­le pe­ris­hed, and on­ly those who were obe­dient to God would be sa­ved and would be ab­le to re­turn to their own land (Isai­ah 6).

Sweet-smel­ling sac­ri­fi­ce

Isai­ah loo­ked at his own time, but he saw even furt­her. He fo­re­told of cap­ti­vi­ty from which the pe­op­le were not al­lo­wed to re­turn un­til the reign of Cy­rus, king of Per­sia. He was al­so ab­le to com­fort the pe­op­le with the co­ming of the Prin­ce of Pe­a­ce, the birth of the Mes­si­a­nic king. He saw as far as the dawn of the new co­ve­nant and its “sweet-smel­ling sac­ri­fi­ce” (Eph. 5:2), which was ac­cep­tab­le to God.

Isai­ah fo­re­told of this per­fect sac­ri­fi­ce, Je­sus Christ. By faith we are ab­le to be­co­me par­ta­kers of His work of ato­ne­ment. The word of the gos­pel tel­ls of the sac­ri­fi­ce and the work of ato­ne­ment that are ac­cep­tab­le to God. This word is proc­lai­med by the pe­op­le of God yet to­day.

Fe­ast on Mount Zion

Prop­het Isai­ah was ab­le to see still furt­her. He told of a fe­ast on Mount Zion. This fe­ast, desc­ri­bed in chap­ter 25 of the Book of Isai­ah, has been in­terp­re­ted as an esc­ha­to­lo­gi­cal ima­ge. He was ab­le to see to the end of time, to the mar­ri­a­ge fe­ast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).

The fe­ast was a vi­si­on of hope for the pe­op­le who had to suf­fer. This vi­si­on of hope is still of­fe­red to be­lie­vers in the word of God. We can al­so get a fo­re­tas­te of he­a­ven’s fe­ast in the Lord’s Holy Sup­per. These fes­ti­ve mo­ments are me­ant for en­cou­ra­ge­ment so that we would have the strength to tra­vel all the way to the he­a­ven­ly fes­ti­vi­ty.

En­cou­ra­ge­ment is nee­ded, as the jour­ney of the pe­op­le of God in this time is al­so a jour­ney of “aba­se­ment and shame”. One day “the Lord God will wipe away te­ars from off all fa­ces; and the re­bu­ke of his pe­op­le shall he take away from off all the earth.” (Isai­ah 25:8).

With ey­es of faith we can see far ahe­ad to he­a­ven’s fe­ast. Re­gard­less of the troub­les of the jour­ney, we can al­re­a­dy now join in the words of the Book of Isai­ah: “Lo this is our God; we have wai­ted for him, and he will save us.” (Isai­ah 25:9).

Text Tuo­mas Töl­li

Trans­la­ti­on K. K.

Pub­lis­hed Sii­o­nin Lä­he­tys­leh­ti 1/2014

Teks­tis­sä kä­si­tel­lään seu­raa­via raa­ma­tun­koh­tia: Isai­ah 25:6–9

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä kie­li­lii­tees­sä 11/2014.